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European Parliament
Plenary sitting
with request for inclusion in the agenda for a debate on cases of breaches of
human rights, democracy and the rule of law
pursuant to Rule 135 of the Rules of Procedure
on the situation in Vietnam
Ignazio Corrao, Fabio Massimo Castaldo, Marco Zanni, Beatrix von
Storch, Rolandas Paksas, Isabella Adinolfi
on behalf of the EFDD Group
United in diversity
European Parliament resolution on the situation in Vietnam
The European Parliament,
– having regard to its previous resolutions on Vietnam,
– having regard to the EU-Vietnam Framework Agreement on Comprehensive Partnership and
Cooperation (PCA),
– having regard to the fifth round of the EU-Vietnam Human Rights Dialogue in Hanoi on December
– having regard to the last meeting between Presidents Tusk and Juncker and the Prime Minister of
Vietnam Nguyễn Xuân Phúc of the 27th May 2016,
– having regard to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,
– having regard to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights,
– having regard to the Constitution of Vietnam,
– having regard to article 135 of its Rules of Procedure,
A. whereas the European Union considers Vietnam as an important partner in Asia, as underlined by
many bilateral visits exchanged in the past years by the European and Vietnamese top-level
B. whereas the XII Congress of the Vietnamese Communist Party (January 2016) resulted in the
appointment of a new leadership dominated by members of the army and security forces; whereafter
repression against all forms of free expression has significantly increased;
C. whereas in the last months there has been an increasing pressure of the Vietnamese authorities
against human rights defenders, bloggers, government critics, members of “non-recognised” religions
and social activists, with a series of arrests and detentions perpetrated by police officers and by plainclothed security agents;
D. whereas in Vietnam the general situation with regard to basic freedoms has deteriorated in recent
years, despite the economic growth and the opening of Vietnam to foreign trade and investments and
despite numerous calls from international organisations and other bodies, such as the European Union;
E. whereas Vietnam persists in invoking vaguely-worded «national security» provisions in the
Criminal Code such as “anti-State propaganda”, “subversion” or “abuse of democratic freedoms” to
incriminate and silence religious and political dissidents, human rights defenders and perceived
government critics;
F. whereas the current laws on media and press freedom are quite tight and they are probably going to
be strengthened, limiting futher spaces for the freedom of expression and any form of dissent;
whereas censorship is still active and widespread in the country;
G. whereas despite the provisions of the Vietnamese Constitution the authorities are still repressing
religious beliefs and, in general, religious freedoms, using differents methods inclusing harassment,
surveillance, registration requirements and other unnecessary administratve and bureaucratic burdens;
H. whereas police forces and security authorities are usually criticized for the use of force, beatings
and abuses on the people held in custody;
I. whereas arbitrary detentions and arrests are used in many cases to repress and punish political
dissidents and the opposition, using vague criminal accuastions;
L. whereas the implementation of human rights in Vietnam is a cornerstone of the political dialogue
and the cooperation between the European Union and Vietnam;
1. Expresses its concerns about the climate for media, free speech, freedom of religion and
human rights in Vietnam; is very concerned about the repression against human rights
defenders, bloggers, government critics, members of “non-recognised” religions and social
2. Calls for the immediate and unconditional release of all the political prisoners and detainees,
including those imprisoned or detained for exercising their rights of free expression, assembly,
movement, or political or religious association and cease arresting and detaining others for
such actions;
3. Calls on the government to allow the publication of uncensored, independent, privately-run
newspapers and magazines, removing filtering, surveillance, and other restrictions on internet
usage and release people imprisoned for peaceful dissemination of their views over the
internet and other media;
4. Urges the government to amend or repeal provisions in the penal code and other laws that
criminalize peaceful dissent on the basis of imprecisely defined “national security” crimes;
5. Urges the government to ease any kind of direct or indirect censorship on mass media and to
allow the implementation of the rights of free speech and free expression, as stated in the
Vietnamese Constitution;
6. Stresses the importance of bilateral relations between the EU and Vietnam and of
strengthening economic and political cooperation, especially including the implementation of
human rights conditions in Vietnam;
7. Calls on the Vietnamese authorities to immediately end any kind of harassment, arrests,
prosecutions, imprisonment, and ill-treatment of people made by the police or other security
agencies and based on purely religious, political or ideological reasons;
8. Urges the government of Vietnam to establish effective accountability mechanisms of its
police forces and security agencies, avoiding any abuse against prisoners or detainees;
expresses strong concerns to Vietnamese officials about police abuses, emphasizing that they
violate both Vietnamese and international law, that perpetrators should be punished, and that
victims should receive remedy and compensation.
9. Calls on the governement to end immediately any harassment, surveillance and repression of
any religious belief, and to avoid any further repressive action or treatment against churches or
cults, their believers and their ministers;
10. Emphasises that the provisions of the criminal code and the security laws should not be used
to repress freedom of speech, of expression, religious freedoms and political dissent and
11. Welcomes the regular EU-Vietnam Human Rights Dialogues; underlines the importance of
human rights dialogue between the EU and the Vietnamese authorities, especially if this
dialogue is followed by real implementation; stresses that this dialogue should be effective
and results-oriented;
12. Stresses that a steady and real advancement of the EU-Vietnam political and economic
relations should include and properly consider the human rights dimension and its concrete
implication in the country;
13. Calls on the EU, and in particular on the European External Action Service, to monitor closely
developments of human rights in Vietnam, to raise concerns with the Vietnamese authorities
where necessary and to report regularly to Parliament;
14. Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Vice-President of the Commission/High
Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Council, the
Commission, the governments and parliaments of the Member States and the Government and
Parliament of Vietnam.